Stop dating the church sermon

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Our pastor recently preached a sermon on strategic bridge-burning.

He didn’t really call it that, but that’s what it was about.

The rewards to a non-challenging major are working at your high school job. These are often weighty and highly contextual questions, and my meager attempt to address them is only to offer a few basic principles for making commitments.

Economists value decisions at their opportunity cost or the value of the best forgone opportunity. First, a larger sense of calling on our lives creates the foundation for commitments.

If one needs to be committed to something even when things don’t turn out as well as hoped, then the option value is lower. There is no older adult I’m acquainted with that has had a successful career while perpetually keeping their career options open.

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This is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of cohabitation. By keeping everyone’s options open, the commitment necessary to work through difficulty and create the foundation for a lasting relationship too often fails to materialize.

Elijah approaches and puts his cloak around him, a gesture signifying prophetic calling in ancient Israel.

Elisha responds by hosting a giant oxen-barbeque for the whole village, fueled by his plowing equipment. But as a university professor, one of the great dilemmas I have found within the millennial generation is that millennials possess two contradictory desires: Again and again, my students tell me that they made a certain decision to “keep their options open.” That millennials like to keep options open is borne out by the data: only one in four (26%) millennials are married, nearly one-third (29%) are not affiliated with a particular religion, and half (50%) consider themselves political independents. From an economist’s perspective, millennials seem to measure decisions by what we call “option value.” In economics, if a decision like the purchase of an asset has a high option value, it means that there is a significant probability of a very good outcome.

Frankly, I can’t think of anybody who has succeeded in anything by keeping all the options open.

Whether explicitly or implicitly, successful people understand the concept of strategic bridge-burning.

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